Welcome to our end of year Closure. Release. Direction. Series where we chat about the importance of closing off one year to allow new opportunities to flow in for the coming one.
Every year I promise myself to set aside time in December to reflect on the past 12 months. I promise to process the year’s events, get closure and properly ground myself for the year ahead.
Inevitably, the New Year rolls around and I find myself still trying to set aside time to close off the year that has been. But in a addition, I find myself concurrently focused on setting up ideas and goals for the coming year. The result? I end up pushing aside the past year to focus on the coming one. So, when one of my clients recently asked what she could do to help her ‘wrap up’ her year, (excuse the pun!), what ensued was a lengthy conversation as we began to probe into the questions:
• Why is it important to wrap up a year’s adventures?
• How do we ‘wrap up’ a year?
• What would it take to give me closure on the year past?
Why is Wrapping Up our adventures for another year important?
The way I look at this question is from the perspective that everything has a cycle – the seasons come and go; the powerful moon waxes and wanes; we give birth and witness death; our economies move through boom and recession; our fearful egos surface but are overcome by kindness, wisdom and compassion; we start projects and we finish them.
So too, each year closes. There is one common thread here that I can see – to pave the way to live happier, healthier, more purposeful lives, we need to let go of those things which are completed so that the next step to fully present itself.
What does it mean to ‘wrap up’?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘wrap up’ as ‘to focus on setting up a process to complete or to finish something’. But we also found other definitions. For example, to ‘wrap up’ as in cocoon with something warm, or to ‘wrap up’ as in quieten down. Both of these alternative definitions also resonated with us. I’d like to reflect on both of these alternatives before we focus on the first definition.
Why is cocooning and quietening down important?
According to the Blue Zones, Power 9®, the third principle is Down Shift – this represents a quietening down of our busy lives as a way to minimise stress and is a natural balance to the second principle which is Purpose – representing the action element of our lives – why we get up in the morning.
What does it take to have closure?
In order to answer this, we turned our conversation to what we both individually needed to have closure. This was really easy – closure for us for bringing the matter/issue/scenario to a conclusion that we could live with. The more complicated issue was the process of reflection and choice that we would have to go through to determine whether we could ‘live with the conclusion’.
“Living with” something.
My definition of ‘living with something’ was shaped in the mid noughties, when I was training as a mediator. Our go-to resource was a brilliantly simple and effective book from Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes. The general gist is that when we cannot agree on everything or get everything we want what we can do is find closure by finding a solution that we can live with. Armed with this idea, we set out on our Quest for Closure.
This Quest for Closure is discussed in the next part of the Series and looks at the process we chose to bring closure to our experiences in 2019. I discuss left-brain ideas, right-brain processes and finally come up with a Closure List. We also look at how we can celebrate the Yes side of the List. Part 3 with the theme of Direction then looks at how we effectively and compassionately use the ‘For 2020’ side of The List to focus our intentions for the coming year.
Blogger: Cassie Leibinger MEd CMgr, Co-Founder of Switch Education and Creator of the Switch Wellbeing Sessions. Cassie began managing and leading teams 25 years ago and started working with brand archetypes 20 years ago. She is a Certified Archetypal Consultant and Chartered Manager. As an integrative health practitioner, Cassie’s focus is on cutting edge wellness modalities centred around jungian psychology, Quantum Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dance Therapy and Conflict Coaching.